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Socialist Party's Joe Higgins Elected MEP

category national | politics / elections | news report author Monday June 08, 2009 20:33author by from CWI wesbite Report this post to the editors

This morning Joe Higgins was elected as an MEP for Dublin defeating both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil

Joe Higgins’ stunning victory in the Dublin Euro Constituency, getting 12.5% of the first preference vote, out polling Sinn Fein and defeating two sitting MEPs, was the final part in a weekend of drama and great election results for the Socialist Party in Ireland.

The Dublin Euro election was delayed because of a recount. As the early hours ticked by, the tension began to mount. It was clear this battle for the last seat in Dublin was now down to a battle royale between the Socialist Party verses Fianna Fail, the main capitalist party in Ireland and the party of government over the twelve years – between Joe Higgins and Eoin Ryan, former Minister.

Ryan was over 11,000 votes ahead. Sinn Fein’s MEP Mary Lou McDonald, who the Socialist Party had pushed into fifth position in the popular vote, was due for elimination and then her votes would be transferred to Ryan or Higgins or be non transferable, depending on the preferences of the voters. Someone said this is going to come down to the wire. The reply came “this is the wire!”

Of McDonald’s 55429 votes, Joe needed to get a significantly higher rate of transfers than Ryan does if he was to catch him. The indications were that a lot of her votes were not going to transfer to anyone, thereby potentially reducing the pot of votes for Joe to catch Ryan with.

Then the moment came. McDonald’s votes had been allocated and the count was effectively over, we were just waiting for an announcement. Some party members and supporters, as well as Fianna Fail, gathered around the returning officers podium. As that was happening the staff who had done the counting all day, streamed out from behind the barriers on their way home, leaving both groups of supporters to their respective fates in a huge hanger.

If transfers operated in the way expected, everything should be okay for a Joe victory but the possibility that a huge amount of the votes may not transfer could explode that scenario. And then there is always the possibility of the unexpected in proportional representation elections. The returning officer approached the podium.

Through the distorted mike the returning officer announced that Joe Higgins had got an additional 22,201 votes. People tensed as that was on the lower side of what we wanted. Was McDonald’s transfer to Ryan going to put him back in front and make him the winner? When it came out that Ryan got just 5,426, after a few seconds, there was then the realisation that we had indeed done it, that Joe was elected, the first CWI member in the European Parliament. Even though nearly 50% of the votes didn’t transfer, the 4 to 1 ratio meant we were elected with a good surplus of 5,410 votes.

The Local and European elections were a disaster for the governing Fianna Fail and Green parties, and now the administration is very shaky. We will deal with the political and economic situation in Ireland and what the Socialist Party should do now in future articles, but for now we’ll register this historic victory.

author by Socialistpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He has given legitimacy to the bourgeoise capitalist charade of representative democracy by participating in it.
The revolution of the proletariat can only come about when the oppressed workers rise up and overthrow the bourgeoise elite.
Joe is a glove puppet of the elites.

author by replypublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

try telling that to his voters you fool

author by Conorpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''Joe has sold out.
He has given legitimacy to the bourgeoise capitalist charade of representative democracy by participating in it.
The revolution of the proletariat can only come about when the oppressed workers rise up and overthrow the bourgeoise elite.
Joe is a glove puppet of the elites.''

You cant be serious. Im not big into the ould elections myself but I went out and voted for two socialist party reps for the local and Joe for Europe, no one else. The reason I done that was to prevent the lobbyists from getting more seats.

If Joe didnt get the seat then that prick Ryan form FF would have that Euro seat and in my area Cllr Clare Daly retained her seat which would have been lost to a FF or FG rep.

I dont think you really think Joe is a 'glove puppet of the elites'. Look at his record.

Well done to Joe, the Socialist party, independent lefts and even the PBFA, better than FG & Lab!

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congrats from Hungary!

I know you will rock the house!

author by Joe Higgins.eu - Socialist Partypublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Video of Joe Higgins talking to the media after winning the MEP seat last night, to watch follow the link below. Thanks to http://www.briangreene.com

Related Link: http://www.joehiggins.eu/371
author by lulupublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to him; maybe the most honest politician around.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A champion of every good cause is in the European Parliament

We can expect straight talking from Europe.

author by Gearóid O Loingsighpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is interesting to note that 50% of the SF vote did not transfer, but then Mary Lou is really only a FFer who couldn't get the nomination in FF and jumped ship to SF along way back when the Lenihan gang ran FF in Dublin West.

author by Jonahpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yawn. The tired old MLM bashing from the Trots is exactly why very some Sinn Féin members and supporters wouldn't transfer to Joe. I did, and despite being very disappointed about losing am glad I did, but if you think Joe can attack Sinn Féin constantly and our voters will flock to him with transfers then you're being very naive.

author by Justinpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Transfers from Tina McVeigh of People Before Profit saved us, meaning Sinn Féin, in South West Inner City last night. Yet she also transferred heavily to Fine Gael and a not inconsiderable amount to Fianna Fáil. Is this because Tina McVeigh is an evil infiltrator from the capitalist parties? Because she's secretly taking orders from Kenny? No, it's because voters don't always vote ideological lines as people with practical experience of politics know.

I'm sure Sinn Féin voters in Dublin South East, for example, transferred to Eoin Ryan because they know him as a local rep, in the same way that many of Tina's votes went to Fine Gael because she's from the same housing estate as the Fine Gael candidate.

Bear in mind too that some of Mary Lou's transfers would have come from other candidates. People who voted Byrne 1, Mary Lou 2, then Ryan 3, for example. Or De Burca 1, McKenna 2, Mary Lou 3, Byrne 4, Ryan 5, for another.

Finally, Sinn Féin voters traditionally 'plump', meaning we vote for our own party and no-one else. This is actually the first election since 1999 that I gave anyone a transfer and I didn't transfer in '97 either. And in case anyone's interested enough to ask, I gave Higgins my number two despite my less than fond feelings towards his party on the basis that if we couldn't make it we'd need someone to help the fight against Lisbon, and McVeigh a number two in SWIC.

author by Tallymanpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The vast bulk of the SF transfers were SF 1st preference. But you also had thousands of votes that were initially 1st pref's of other parties/candiates that went to SF eventually and then moved onto be non-transferable.

I'm not surprised at the high non-transferable vote from SF. Yes, most SF voters are more likely to back SP over FF. That's how Joe Higgins was elected. He got a big transfer that leap frogged him ahead of Ryan. But remember not all SF voters necessarily vote SF for their left leaning policies. There are a significant number of nationalists that would not necessarily see socialism as all that appealing.

author by conor bpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:29author email conorburke78 at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

joe is not going to europe to take part in forming legislation or any of that pointless stuff ,hes going to give a voice to the many millions of people who feel that their rights are being stamped on and who feel that the establishment ignor them,he will be small but effective thorn in the side of the big business interests while also highlighting the cause of socialism and thus winning over more recuits to the cause , but i supose some would see it as being better to just stay silent letting the ruling elites carry out their savage cuts and harmful policies on ordinary working people ,what utter nonscence!!

author by Dantepublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to Joe Higgins, who will no doubt be a powerful voice for all workers, not alone Irish and European workers but workers of all nationalities (as he was for the Turkish workers here who were exploited by multinational GAMA in 2005). It is a pity that it’s the European Parliament he is going to, I really miss him lambasting those in Leinster House, who always dismissed his valiant efforts, one such idiot, the then infamous Fianna Fáil Minister for ‘Integration’ who told Joe: “to stick to the kebabs!” - referring to Joe’s ceaseless efforts and campaign work to raise the plight of Turkish workers here who had horrendous working terms and conditions and were paid a pittance by a wealthy Turkish multinational company, GAMA.

I recall those nights when I found it hard to sleep, I’d switch on the ‘Oireachtas Report’ broadcast from Leinster House on t.v. and that usually had me sleeping in no time; and then it changed - Joe Higgins was elected - and I’d watch the same programme; and Joe would stand up to give a rousing speech and speak passionately about workers’ rights and raise the plight of some workers struggling to earn a decent wage, and he had me nearly running out the door with my placard in the dead of the night! I am getting a good night’s sleep now, as the ‘Oireachtas Report’ has returned to its usual boring uninspiring status since Joe has left - all doctors should prescribe it to insomniacs (they won’t of course, sure, there’s no money in it after all).

Joe Higgins will no doubt champion the cause of all workers regardless of their nationality, as he has always done, and although I do not normally vote for parties in Leinster House, an establishment that conjures up for me Dante’s words: ‘Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter’ (the Green Party should know what I mean) - but, I am glad I voted for Joe Higgins as an MEP, as I know with full confidence that he will do a good job representing all workers, the vulnerable and the poor. We need such a warrior like Joe, who we can trust to be vigilant when it comes to changes in European legislation, to ensure workers’ rights are upheld regardless of colour, creed, or nationality (and to counteract the ghastly rise of members of far right parties into the European Parliament).

Joe, comhghairdeas, agus mo cheol thú!

author by Pierce Farrell - Personal Capacitypublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is the latest on the EU Reform Treaty.

PDF Document guarantees.pdf 0.16 Mb

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/focus/2009/drafttext_guarantees/index.pdf
author by Ursula Blackpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 22:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Pierce for the link.

These gaurantees have absolutly no legal standing whatsoever and makes no difference to the Treaty. You'd be a fool to actually hold any belief in what a bunch of politicians agree. A greast group of chancers, oppoertunists, careerists and back-stabbers you'd ever assemble in one place.

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